Mr. S and I had another busy weekend! We are now in full swing getting prepared for Tiny One. (Although we are not always as productive as we would like to be… ok, mostly me.) On Sunday, we drove up to the hospital where we will be delivering to take an infant CPR class and a tour of the maternity unit. Sorry there are no pictures! I didn’t feel comfortable taking the pictures in the hospital… (Don’t worry, that won’t stop me from bringing my camera and taking pictures when Tiny One is born!)
The infant safety and CPR class was definitely worth it; even though parts of it were a review for me, I feel better now that Mr. S and I both know what to do in the case of an emergency. However, I wish the makers of the CPR video were a little more in touch with their target audience… Most of the people taking this kind of class are soon-to-be-parents, already parents, or work with small children as their jobs. We were one of six expecting couples in our class. It is really upsetting for us to watch a skit about a mother finding her baby not breathing in its crib – we can imagine the scene just fine on our own. (One woman in our class actually started crying – it was actually not me this time, but only because I looked away and focused on something else.) The scene was not necessary for us to learn when and how to do CPR.
In addition to learning and practicing CPR and what to do if a child is choking, the class reviewed baby-proofing the home and we watched a video on car seats. Unfortunately, the baby-proofing section confirmed my fear that our apartment is a baby death trap, and I think the only solution (once she can move around) will be to put her in a playpen or gated-in area until we find a different living situation. We will do things like remove many items off of floor level and put outlet covers in the open outlets, but there are many things around here that we cannot change (i.e. the type of blinds and door stops) and the open floor plan is not really conducive to blocking sections of with gates.
The hospital tour was also useful. Our “tour guide” was a retired neonatal and maternity nurse. She started with an information session, including handouts on what we should bring to the hospital and where to enter when we are in labor, then she gave us a tour in which she showed us the entrance to the NICU (we couldn’t go inside, for obvious reasons), led us through the labor and delivery unit – including showing us a room – and then showed us the mother-baby unit, including the family lounge area. The hospital in general is very nice – there are warm colors, and lots of comfy seating in public areas. The maternity section is completely separate from the rest of the hospital (which I really like!) and has been completely renovated within the past 4 years.
We learned that when we are in labor, we will enter through the emergency department to the lobby of labor and delivery. We will go to the “triage” section, which is like a mini emergency room, where the doctors, midwives, and nurses assess whether we should be admitted or sent home because it is too early. Once we are admitted we get a private room – all of their rooms are private – to labor and deliver in. The labor rooms are quite large and have a full bathroom – some with bathtubs and some with massage-head showers – a TV with cable, some extra seating for Dads/significant others, and lots of plugs to plug in electronics. I definitely plan on bringing my ipod and laptop for music! After the baby is born, they give you an hour or two to bond and recover before moving you to the mother-baby unit. The mother-baby unit is a completely separate section designed for the 2-4 days of recovery after the birth. There are special heat lamps in the rooms so that all of the tests on the baby can be done right there with you (there is no need for them to be taken to the nursery unless you want them to) and there is a family lounge where lactation consultants lead two breastfeeding classes every day.
Overall, I was very pleased with the hospital, although I am still not a huge fan of hospitals in general… I told Mr. S that if we have to go to one, I am glad we found a nice one!